The European Tour returns to Morocco this week, for the 10th edition of the Trophee Hassan II since it first became part of its schedule in 2010.
The field at Royal Golf Dar Es Salam includes just one player, No. 71 Joost Luiten, ranked inside the Official World Golf Rankings top 100.
Alexander Levy returns to defend his title with other familiar names including Jorge Campillo, Andy Sullivan, Fabrizio Zanotti, Jordan Smith, and Victor Dubuisson.
It’s a big week for golf overall in Morocco, as the Ladies European Tour will be playing at the neighboring Blue Course.
As we do each week, here’s a round up of information and historical data to get you prepped for a weekend of golf in Morocco.
Tournament: Trophee Hassan II
Dates: April 25-28, 2019
Where: Rabat, Morocco
Course: Royal Golf Dar Es Salam
Distance: Par 72, 7,557 yards
Architect: Robert Trent Jones (2017 redesign by James Duncan)
Format: 72-holes, stroke play, 36-hole cut
Winning Share: €416,660
Defending Champion: Alexander Levy
Marquee Players: Andy Sullivan, Chris Wood, Joost Luiten, Alexander Levy, Jeunghun Wang, Victor Dubuisson
TV AND ONLINE
A part of the European Tour since 2010, the Trophee Hassan II was first played in 1971 and is Morocco’s longest-running sporting event.
The official host is His Royal Highness Prince Moulay Rachid. The tournament is named in honor of his father, Hassan II, who served as Morocco’s king from 1961-1999.
The tournament boasts an impressive list of past winners, including nine players whose careers included major championships: Orville Moody (the very first winner in 1971), Billy Casper, Lee Trevino, Vijay Singh, Payne Stewart, Nick Price, David Toms, Padraig Harrington and Ernie Els.
Only one player has won the event three times, Santiago Luna.
2018: Alexander Levy (-8)
2017: Edoardo Molinari (-9)
2016: Jeunghun Wang (-5)
2015: Richie Ramsey (-10)
2014: Alejandro Canizares (-19)
2013: Marcel Siem (-17)
2012: Michael Hoey (-17)
2011: David Horsey (-13)
266 (-25) Rhys Davies (2010)
3 – Santiago Luna (1998, 2002-03)
Alexander Levy fired a final-round 2-under par 70 and held off a late charge from 54-hole leader Alvaro Quiros to capture the Trophée Hassan II in Morocco.
The Frenchman, who entered the day just one back of Quiros, made three front-nine birdies at Royal Golf Dar Es Salamand to turn with the lead at 8 under. A bogey on the par-4 16th dropped him to 7 under, but a bounce-back gain on the 17th moved Levy to 8-under par, good for a one-stroke victory over the Spaniard Quiros.
FINAL TOP 5
1 Alexander Levy -8
2 Alvaro Quiros -7
3 Andrea Pavan -6
3 Joakim Lagergren -6
3 Alexander Bjork -6
3 Mikko Ilonen -6
Defending champ Alexander Levy enters with many questions. The Frenchman started the 2019 Race to Dubai strongly, claiming a top 5 at the Saudi International, but has been sidelined since being forced to withdraw from the Oman Open almost two months ago due to injury.
The top-ranked player in the field is No. 71 Joost Luiten. The six-time European Tour winner owns three top-10 finishes on the season, all in high-profile events (3rd place at Abu Dhabi, T6 in Saudi Arabia, and T10 at WGC-Mexico).
The Dutchman has finished 9th and 13th in his last two starts in Morocco.
Jorge Campillo had something of a breakout season last year, recording seven top 10s, and the 32-year old Spaniard has carried the trend into the new season, scoring a pair of runner-ups alongside a third-place finish in his four most recent starts.
Campillo is still in search of his maiden Euro Tour title.
This year’s field also includes six players who’ve already won in 2019: Aaron Rai (Honma Hong Kong Open), Kurt Kitayama (Afrasia Bank Mauritius Open, Oman Open), David Lipsky (Alfred Dunhill Championship), David Law (ISPS Handa Vic Open), Guido Migliozzi (Magical Kenya Open), Stephen Gallacher (Hero Indian Open).
TOP-10 BETTING FAVORITES
• Joost Luiten (16-1)
• Jorge Campillo (20-1)
• Alexander Levy (25-1)
• Andy Sullivan (25-1)
• Fabrizio Zanotti (25-1)
• Jordan Smith (25-1)
• Julian Suri (25-1)
• Nacho Elvira (25-1)
• Erik Van Rooyen (28-1)
• Victor Dubuisson (30-1)
Carey Hoffman contributed to this report.
Credits: European Tour Media, Getty Images